This week our usual trainer Fang was unavailable, so we had last-minute volunteers Doc’d Marx and Little Miss Spanky. They had us warm-up in pads, which is something I’ve been trying to do in any case but don’t always get in early enough to gear up before warm-ups are called. Tonight consisted of laps, lots of lunges, grapevines, crunches and push-ups.
First drill was a variation on single knee falls, the speed-shave. Instead of a controlled drop and glide to a stop on one knee, as you skate you dip, drag your knee along the floor as a brake, and then return to derby stance and continue skating. After being unable to do more than 2 single knee falls in a row only a couple of weeks ago thanks to a lack of muscle strength, I was surprised how quickly I picked this up. I need more practice to ensure consistency, but I have the form down.
Next up was double-knee falls. These I need a lot more practice on. The technique is that you do a single knee fall and then immediately drop the second knee, lean back and do a rockstar-style power slide to a halt. My reality is that I pitch forward (a definite no-no), spin 90 degrees as I stop (shows a lack of control, unless done on purpose of course), or on the few where I managed to do it properly, once I came to a complete stop I would start sliding into a sideways split. Needs more practice!
We also practiced some one-foot glides, since they are the basis for a lot of other derby moves (T -stops, transitions and recovering from hits to start with). I was getting pretty confident with these, so I started pushing myself to maintain the glide while adjusting my stance, extending my other leg, high-fiving the girl next to me etc. I make my own fun. We then moved into T-stops. Again, I was getting pretty confident so I tried these with more speed (as much as I could in a single court with 20 other people), and then started helping the girls next to me who were having trouble with their form.
You can’t practice stops without doing plow stops. This was the first one I mastered, so again I tried doing it at higher speeds and stopping in shorter distances. I’m getting there, next time I intend to try a technique I read about that combines plows with fast feet to compress stopping distances. As you plow, you lift and stomp with alternating feet and apparently you can stop faster. I’m interested to see how it works.
Once the track was free we tried the 5-in-1 again. Doc and Spanky made us to do more crunches and push-ups first, and I was already feeling run-down and exhausted so I only managed 4.5 tonight. But I’m still counting it as a win, I felt like I had no push or speed whatsoever so I was honestly surprised I did that many (I actually thought it was only 3.5, this is why we have counters!)
Once we took over the track as a group we had a fast-feet drill, stepping on the spot and forward, backwards and sideways while attempting not to roll. I find being slightly pigeon-toed helps, but some people prefer being duck-footed.
Then it was tag time! I got the panty and chased down Jamme Slamister (and plenty of others, but Slamister was juking and pretending to avoid me so then it was ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!)
We finished up the night with a game of Spanky Says! (which turned into Hot Mess says when Spanky needed a break). Just like Simon Says, doing various stops, falls and other skills on the appropriate commands.
Finally we had the Circle of Lurby as we finished for the night. I got Lurby from Slamister for chasing him down during tag, and I topped the night off by feeding everyone choc-chip cookies as I had been on a baking frenzy the night before.